How to Clean Sterling Silver Beads

How to Clean Sterling Silver Beads

Tarnished silver abandoned in the jewelry box? The brilliance and versatility of sterling silver beads make them a wildly popular addition to many jewelry pieces. Unfortunately, exposure to air can lead to the tarnishing of silver jewelry, making items appear dirty or discolored. Luckily, however, you can give these pieces a fresh start, easily cleaning sterling silver beads and jewelry with these tips and tricks…

Electrolyte Method for Resilient Pieces

The electrolyte method is easy and science-backed, helping you avoid endless polishing and possible abrasions on ornate or engraved pieces. It reverses the chemical reaction that causes tarnishing. To clean with the electrolyte method, you will need a dish or bowl, aluminum foil, 1 cup boiling water, and 1 tablespoon baking soda. Line the dish with foil, dull side down. Place the jewelry in the dish, making certain it touches the foil. This ensures the silver sulfide atoms tarnishing the piece will transfer to the aluminum foil. (They will also cause a ‘rotten egg’ smell as they lift, so do not be alarmed.) Mix the baking soda with the boiling water, then pour the solution onto your jewelry in the dish. Let sit for 2-10 minutes to remove tarnish, then rinse with water and dry with a soft cloth.

Silver Cleaning for ‘Delicates’

Like your favorite cashmere sweater, some pieces are more delicate than others, requiring more careful cleaning. This includes jewelry held together with glue, porous stone beads (gemstones like opal, turquoise, onyx, and carnelian), as well as clear gemstones such as Swarovski crystal beads and pendants, Cloisonné beads, watches, and antiques. For these more delicate jewels, try one of the following methods:

  • Simple Soap & Water
    This simple and safe method should be the first cleaning method you attempt on silver jewelry.
  • Baking Soda & Water
    Make a paste of baking soda and water, polishing your silver beads gently with a pea-sized amount on a polishing cloth. For etched or detailed items such as silver fancy beads and corrugated beads, be sure to use a thinner paste. A soft-bristle brush can help on cracks/crevices. Run carefully under warm water when done and dry with a clean cloth.
  • White Vinegar & Baking Soda
    This combination works better for items with heavier tarnish, applied in the same manner as the baking soda method, however it should NOT be used with soft gemstones, which can etch and scratch. Make a solution of ½-cup vinegar to 2-tablespoons vinegar for polishing. Expect it to fizz and bubble. Rinse well and pat dry.

The Easiest Tarnish Prevention

Many avoid wearing their sterling silver jewelry, saving it for special occasions. While silver can be effected by chlorinated pool water and sunlight, however, surprisingly, the oils from your skin can help your jewelry keep its shine. Thus, wearing silver jewelry often is the easiest tarnish prevention. When its not being worn, reduce oxidation by simply sealing each piece into a small craft bag separately. This also prevents scratching and tangling.

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Do You Want to Make Jewelry?

Do You Want to Make Jewelry?

Do you love making jewelry? If so, you can find a way to turn this hobby into a profession. You should do what you love, and if you love gold filled beads, sterling silver beads and trinkets, you need to consider a career as a jewelry craftsperson.

Sell Jewelry Online

Anyone who loves to make different kinds of jewelry can sell the pieces online. That way, you can develop a side line that could turn into a full-time occupation. You may also want to consider other bead materials such as stones or crystals. The choice is entirely up to you. You can become a jewelry designer overnight. You just need to learn how to make the art into a full-time venture. It’s easy when all your jewelry making supplies are available online.

Make the Internet as well as today’s technology work for you. Maybe you want to display your wares for people to buy. Again, you can turn to the Internet for this type of coverage. You can display all the jewelry you make from what you buy in beading supplies online. You can entice your friends to look at the selections by sharing your business with them on Facebook and introducing your website. You can also use other social media channels such as Twitter and Reddit for the same purpose.

Make the Process Fun

The whole idea of jewelry making is to make it fun. If you love to create pretty jewelry pieces, this is the way to do it. You do not have to assume a large overhead either if you take on this type of venture. All you need to do is to have a creative flair and be able to advertise your services via social media.

Once your business grows or you have more customers, you may want to advertise on sites such as Etsy or eBay. Again, you have it in your power to make a business out of jewelry making if you wish to succeed at this type of activity. You just need to know where to begin.

Realize Your Entrepreneurial Dreams Online

The best way to start the process is to go online and choose some supplies. Think about what you would like to make. By taking this initial step, you can realize your dreams as an entrepreneur. You can find an outlet for your creative skills and abilities, and you can make it happen on the Internet. Set up a website that showcases your jewelry and you will be in business almost overnight.

Take time now to go online and decide what you will offer. Look for website platforms that you can use as an online store. Make it your goal this year to become a designer – create jewelry that your friends and family will admire and love.

How to Start Learning to Bead

How to Start Learning to Bead

Making your own jewelry isn’t just a lot of fun, it is also a great way to make gifts for the people that you care about. If you haven’t ever made your own jewelry before, it is normal to feel a little overwhelmed and unsure of how to get started. Beading is one way of making jewelry and is a great choice for many people who are interested in learning how to make their own jewelry. Not only can you quickly learn the basics, but you won’t need very many pieces of equipment to get started.

Gathering Your Tools

Your first step in learning how to bead is gathering all of the tools that you will need. If you have a well-stocked toolbox at your home then you may already have everything you need, otherwise, you will want to consider buying your tools at the same place where you buy your beading supplies online. You will need flat-nosed pliers and wire cutters as well as specialized round-nose pliers, scissors, and jewelry glue. When you have all of your tools on hand, you can start choosing your new beads that you want to use to design your new pieces.

Picking Your Beads

There are many different types of beads available for you to choose from, which is why it can get a little overwhelming for some people to shop for beads. No matter if you want gemstones, glass, Swarovski crystal beads, or sterling silver beads and findings, you are going to be best off buying bulk jewelry making supplies from a reputable company who has a lot of different options. Depending on what your style is and what kind of jewelry you are interested in making, you will be able to narrow down your choices and find beads that work for you.

Pick Your Findings and Stringing Medium

Once you have bought your pearl, silver, and gold filled beads, it’s time to choose your findings and stringing medium. You need findings such as bead tips, clasps, jump rings, and headpins to get started so that you can connect and finish all of your pieces. Stringing mediums can include coated wire, silk, and even nylon, which means that it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and con of each type before you buy.

After you have all of your tools and supplies, it’s time to get inspired and set aside some time to bead. It may be a little daunting looking at all of your new supplies, but you won’t ever learn if you don’t pick up the pliers and get to work. Taking a class to learn how to bead or buying a book that explains the process and offers inspiration is a great way to get started and will help you start designing your own jewelry right away. In no time at all you are likely to be creating incredible pieces that all of your friends and family members will love!

Getting to Know the Different Metals You Can Use in Making Jewelry

Getting to Know the Different Metals You Can Use in Making Jewelry

The use of metals for jewelry has existed for as long as the start of human civilization. Metals in jewelry were already used in ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian civilization. Since then, jewelry making has become so popular that there are many less expensive alternatives for precious metals right now like gold filled beads.

While there are a lot of different metals known to us, not all of them can be used to make jewelry. Among the most precious metals that are used in crafting jewelry are gold, platinum, and silver. They have a huge economic value and they are considered more valuable than most other metals.

Any kind of metals used in jewelry making that is not one of the three mentioned above is categorized as non-precious metals. While gold filled beads are cheaper, they are not really behind in terms of quality. In some cases, to get the best of both precious and non-precious metal features, they are mixed and termed as an alloy.

If you are studying about the different metals you can use for jewelry making while planning your designs, take a look at this list of metals and their major characteristics.

#1 – Platinum

Compared to other metals, platinum would be the rarest and the most expensive one. It even has a higher preciousness rate compared to gold. Platinum looks very similar to silver and it is mainly characterized by its heavy weight. The most common and popular use of platinum in terms of jewelry is for wedding or engagement rings, paired with diamonds.

#2 – Silver

One thing that makes silver preferred by most jewelry makers is that it can be soft and easy to work with when it is pure. It makes it easier when silver is mixed with copper so it is more pliable. There are many kinds of silver metals accepted as jewelry making materials like fine silver, nickel silver, and sterling silver. Sterling silver beads are very common in jewelry making.

#3 – Copper

Copper is characterized by its reddish brown color. Unlike precious metals, copper is often used as a base for gold filled beads and findings. Usually, copper is oxidized and it becomes like a green patina. The oxidized copper is called an antiqued copper plate and it is popular as a material used for making fashion jewelry.

#4 – Stainless Steel

Stainless steel would be the most popular and widely used material in the craft of jewelry making. It is more industrial-looking with an appearance that can be very similar to silver. It is resistant to scratches, but it may contain some nickel that can cause allergies in some people.

#5 – Gold

Among the metals mentioned here, gold is the best metal for making jewelry. Gold has always been considered beautiful. To make gold easy to work with, it is mixed with other high-quality metals like copper or zinc. Most fashion jewelry is made from gold filled beads and findings, a cheaper alternative containing around 5% of pure gold.

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